27 May How to prepare the senior thesis
Thesis is the most important work for the student. Considering the senior thesis, the faculty assesses not only your work, but also that of its professors. During the defense of senior thesis, the professors often engage in the continuing academic debate, sometimes asking the tough questions. The defense of senior thesis helps to find out the scientific value of your work and the faculty’s opinion of you.
Theoretically, the thesis is written in the last year, which is maximally unloaded. At that, the last semester is completely free from classes.
In the academic hierarchy, senior thesis is one step below the dissertation and has a lower amount, but its real scientific value is much higher. The thing is, the graduate student has much greater responsibility, as his/her work will be read from cover to cover. The opponent and reviewer will take part in the defense. As a rule, one of them (or even both of them) — young and proud graduate student, interested in this topic (which is why he/she was assigned) and eager to “crush” the opposite view during the defense.
Long experience shows that the average scientific level of senior theses is higher than that of the dissertations.
Defense is the main challenge for the senior thesis. The defense of term papers in the previous years was a good practice. The opponent (professor or graduate student, who has the candidate’s minimum in his/her specialty) and reviewer (graduate student) are assigned for the defense of thesis. You will know their names in advance. If you weren’t informed, try to find it out, as it would be useful. The opponents must get the text of thesis for review at least one week before the defense
During the defense, they will ask you different questions (usually if they don’t understand the text). You must keep calm and give a clear answer to all possible claims. The sharp responses are not welcome in your own defense. However, active defense is necessary.
It is highly desirable that your academic advisor acts not as your opponent, but as an ally. It is determined by the nature of the previous communication with the academic advisor.
It is known that the professors aren’t always glad to guide the graduate students, as they can be too independent or not very smart. The professor helps the student to the last moment, but he/she can refuse from the patronage during the defense, and not help him get out of the difficult situation.
Therefore, real communication with the academic advisor must be optimal, so that he can’t impose you his/her own concept and destroy your relations.
Writing senior thesis, the students must understand that the knowledge of mandatory educational material is not enough. Therefore, you should be familiarized with the wide range of general and specialized literature on your topic, be able to link the theory issues to the practice, to draw the appropriate conclusions and give recommendations.
The process of researching the problem reveals the student’s abilities to conduct search and scientific activity, analyze and summarize theoretical and practical materials, draw the well-argued conclusions and make his/her own recommendations on the developed topic. Working on the senior thesis, you must use the modern research methods.
Senior thesis is always presented in hard copy. Its volume ranges from 50 to 100 typewriting pages.